Where I go to seek comfort. My time and space machine. My favorite spot to relieve the static electricity in my head after a long day of teaching seventh graders. My reading spot.

Today is the first day of the Fall Reading Challenge (as well as the R.I.P. challenge, which I signed up for yesterday), and truly the last day of my summer vacation. I have decided to spend it, without abandon, reading Outlander. Who knows, maybe I’ll finish it.

In honor of this day’s headlining activity, I’ve decided to write a homage to my favorite place to read: the left cushion of my beat-up, hand-me-down white couch.

Inscription in 1861 copy of The Poems of Shakespeare

Today, I will travel to the land of highlanders, to eighteenth century Scotland,from this spot, surrounded by sources of comfort. Behind me are some of my treasured first edition copies, some classics, as well as nineteenth century editions of the complete works of Shakespeare and The Poems of Shakespeare, formerly the property of a Shakespeare society in 1861.

The living room smells of raspberries and vanilla, thanks to my wickless candle, and my two orange cats curl up on the adjacent red velvet couch, one snoring peacefully. I also enjoy the company of all of my horror, science fiction, and fantasy books, which  gather dust in the corner bookshelf.

Staring at me from the base of the television, Henry Bemis, a figurine of my favorite Twilight Zone character, seems to be envying my position. I can almost hear him exclaiming his ill-fated line “Time enough at last!”


Speaking of time, the living room clock, which has been stuck at 5:48 for the last three years, seduces me with the promise that time has stopped–I can read forever with no pending appointments or daily drudgery.

I sit down on my much stained, cat-scratched couch, a cup of coffee and a water bottle close, and drift away on a hazy San Diego day…